Hello. We are Birdie Break, and we want to help...
The Birdie team has a strong belief that happy parents make happy families, which in turn make happy children! In our increasingly busy family-lives and world, finding time to rejuvenate (or sometimes just get things done) is getting harder and harder.
The idea for Birdie was born out of seeing the frustration of co-founder Melanie's sister trying to find reliable sitters for her children, a frustration later discovered was shared by the other co-founders Amber and Cressida with their childcare needs. Upon further market research and inquiries into peer groups, it became clear that there was something lacking in the current marketplace today; the current options felt either cold and risky or expensive and time-consuming.
Being moms, and aunties, the co-founders wanted to give parents an option that they themselves would feel comfortable with for their own loved ones, an option that wasn't so difficult that parents would give up the idea of free time until their children are old enough to watch themselves, or to access it only when friends and/or family could help them out. They wanted to provide a reliable and efficient avenue to childcare bookings. From this mindset, Birdie Break was born.
Amber Golamco, Co-Founder, CEO
Amber Golamco is a mother of two who authentically believes that parents need time for themselves to remain happy and healthy parents. Amber has experienced this in her own life and has found quality time with her spouse and friends allows her to stay in touch with her identity. During a time when she was having trouble finding reliable childcare, she and her close friends Mel and Cressida realized a need in the childcare space. A service with only the best quality sitters, people that she would trust to care for her own children, and a way to present and connect them with families via a mobile application. Birdie was hatched!
Along with her entrepreneurial spirit, Amber teaches fitness classes to variety of age groups. She enjoys helping and connecting with people, hearing their stories, and experiencing their physical and psychological growth through the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. She is always eager to use her existing skills, such as professional recruitment, to build the repertoire of Birdie sitters, as well as take on new challenges and adventures like branding and building a new business.
Cressida Raffin, Co-Founder, COO
As a new mom, the importance of needing high quality, trusted childcare is proving to be a growing issue as Cressida tries to find balance in her new role as a mom and an entreprenuer, not to mention trying to find time for herself! She is passionate about Birdie being the solution to this problem for other parents in the same conundrum and is committed to working hard in order to make it a service that people can rely on to help them with their childcare needs.
Cressida has spent the last 10+ years in the marketing and event coordination world after having graduated with her Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta. She is happiest when she finds projects that blend her business acumen with her creative soul and entrepeneurial spirit.
In addition to her scholarly education, she has also spent years traveling and living abroad which provided her with a unique perspective on life and helped foster another type of understanding and passion for the world. This blend of career and exploration has solidified her belief in the importance of balance in life as the path to happiness and fulfillment. Something that she hopes Birdie will offer to all parents out there who need it!
Melanie Swerdan, Co-Founder, Director of Creative
Melanie is an entrepreneurial-minded problem solver, dedicated to ingenuity and creative thinking. When her younger sister (mother of three) expressed her struggle to find frequent and adequate childcare, she, along with her close friends Cressida and Amber, began strategizing a way to help fulfill this need. After a great brainstorming session together at the Edmonton Folk Fest, the concept for Birdie Break developed its wings.
She believes it's amazing to live in a world where mobile apps have the ability to bring people together, create a sharing culture, and fulfill a wide range of needs. The Birdie app is being developed to "give parents a break," connecting families and sitters beyond traditional avenues.
Melanie serves as the Director of Creative for the company, having developed roots among several types of artistic pursuits over the years including photography, costume design, camera operating and restaurant development. She is an established music photographer shooting for the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Elle King, Kygo, Matt Mays, City & Colour, Ours and The Heavy to name a few. In the last 3 years she’s also co-conceptualized, co-designed and earned stake in a few popular restaurants in Edmonton, Alberta – El Cortez Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Have Mercy Table + Bar and The Holy Roller.